Farnsfield racer Jon Mortimer’s quest in the Avon Tyres Caterham Tracksport Championship to date this year has given him a mixture of good luck and misfortune.
He came from Donington Park in May with two race wins putting him in lead position of the Championship only to have an eventful race weekend at Brands Hatch due to racing incidents and damage to his car.
A few weekends ago he travelled to the World famous Nurburgring GP Circuit in Germany, where again he was disappointed with his performance finishing fifth and retiring from the second race.
After days testing at Snetterton on Friday in dry conditions, Jon’s qualifying on Saturday morning begain with a wet track and once again this year the preparation from Friday testing seemed a waste of time.
Fortunately the track dried out quickly and, after the 20 minute qualifying session, he found himself on pole position for race one by 0.03second and the top 12 positions being split by only 0.9second.
Race one on Saturday afternoon saw a dry track and a 30 minute race with a five way dice for the lead throughout the whole race, assisted by the effects of slipstream and tow, with the race lead changing into and out of each corner.
Travelling along the Bentley Straight three abreast at times it was frequent that the race leader dropped back to fifth place.
A very close and clean race, with Mortimer starting the last lap in third position only to get outdrafted along Bentley Straight into fourth place under the bridge into Brundle corner for the last time.
However, in entering Coram corner a magnificent pass up the inside through the corner and took the chequered flag to finish in third place, 0.215secs behind the race winner and current Championship leader David Robinson. Mortimer also set the second fastest lap of the race of 1minute 24:792seconds.
Race two on Sunday morning and a dry track, saw Jon line up on the grid in position third.
Halfway round the first lap saw him gain a place to take second place down Bentley Straight but then as the cars came through Nelson Corner and The Bomb Hole safety car boards were being shown as a result of a 1st corner incident involving cars from the middle of the field.
After three laps behind the safety car and all the cars grouped up again racing resumed and on crossing the start finish line onto lap five Mortiner had taken the lead.
On lap eight cars were once more three abreast along the Bentley Straight an error of judgement by the car on the left of the three cars saw contact between him and the car in the middle which was then forced into the left hand side of Mortimer’s Caterham at speed in excess of 100mph.
This resulted in him being spun and a glancing blow into the Armco barrier at approximately 70mph, he was however fortunate enough to be able to rejoin the race, albeit at the very back, in 22nd position.
Mortimer realised he had approximately 15 minutes to try and recover as many places as he could and the damage sustained was not too much which would have resulted in retirement.
Some very hard and skilful driving saw an amazing recovery and Jon back on track and into sixth position,
A success crossing the line just 0.001sec behind Rowan Williams in fifth place. During the recovery drive he again managed to post the fastest lap of the race and another lap record, breaking the previous record by 0.4 seconds and getting into the record books for the Snetterton 200 Circuit.
The final race of the Championship is at Rockingham 6th/7th October.